Depressed boyfriend wants to be friends - HELP!

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alia09
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/16/2015 7:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

This is my first time posting in a forum like this but I just didn't know where else to turn during this confusing time. I apologize for the long post but I hope you will read it and offer any advice. I am feeling a little lost.

I have been dating my boyfriend for 6 months - he is 30 I am 27. In that time we spend quite a lot of a time getting to know each other and fell in love. At the start of our relationship, he mentioned that he has struggled with depression. He didn't elaborate much and I didn't ask too many questions. about 1 month ago, he started expressing to me how overwhelmed he felt by the things he had to do but wasn't doing. He was exhausted all the time. He was really hard on himself for not being able to do these things. He has a new job, started living on his own for the first time, and has a new-ish relationship. It's a pretty transitional time for him.

Over the last month, we have gone through different phases and would meet in person to discuss where he's at and where I'm at. They were extremely loving conversations. Calm, thoughtful. First it was him thinking that he could handle his depression well enough to stay together, then he opened up to me about his depression and said he really didn't feel like anyone should be relying on his right now and that he can't be consistent the way I need him to be. Eventually, we agreed that maybe we should take a break. We said we would do 3 weeks, no contact. He reached out to me after 2 weeks and asked to see me. When we did see each other, he said he didn't have any big revelations and still didn't feel like he had answers for me but knew that another week wouldn't change much and wanted to open the door to me to ask questions or talk about anything I wanted to.

This conversation was especially hard because we both knew this is not the right time for a relationship but we both WANT to be together and love each other tremendously. So confusing!! We agreed to go our separate ways and he promised to reach out when he was in a better place, if nothing else, just to let me know he was okay. He made it clear that he would want to be with me when he feels better but he was careful not to ask me to wait as that would be selfish. He just doesn't know how long it will take for him to feel healthy again, and he said in that time that I should do whatever I need or want to do to be happy. Before we left off, he told me several times more how much loves me and how much he has appreciated so so so much the patience, love, and support I have shown him. He texted me that night saying that he loved me and thanks me for being who I am and all that I have been to him. I sent a loving text back.

He has never blamed me or been angry. He seems to really dislike himself in the moment for all that he cannot do. He is seeing a therapist (I think he has had 4 appts so far - he told me that it is a 12-session therapy but it is not as structured as he had thought it was going to be). He is committed to getting better. Through this month he has been empathetic, thoughtful, and loving. But I know that his mood and energy level are inconsistent and he knows that he can't be fair to me.

I am not at peace with the idea of letting him go or moving on. I don't feel okay about the finality of ending things. I contemplated asking him if we can be "friends" where we are not completely out of each other's lives. That we can still see each other but take the serious conversations out and just be. One of my friends had a near-death experience and it made me realize that life can change in the blink of an eye and I am not ready to lose him yet.

He was very open to this and said it would be tricky because he has a hard time being around people without wanting to withdraw but he is open to trying and that he does not want to lose me out of his life because he does love me.

Thoughts? Advice? Am I being totally irrational by thinking that we can still communicate and see each other occasionally or is it possible? I want to be here for him and I also want his presence in my life. It's not a question of love or compatibility. It's timing! Stupid timing!

alia09
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/16/2015 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to add that when I have seen him, I tell him how proud of him I am and how much I admire his strength and bravery in facing this. I tell him that he's doing great and that every day that he wakes up and tries again is success even if it doesn't feel like it. I know he won't believe me because he doesn't feel good about himself but I say these things anyways. And I mean it from the deepest part of my heart.

If someone can offer advice on communication - what to say, what not to say, etc. - that would be helpful too.

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7101
   Posted 3/16/2015 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum.

Has he been to a doc for a diagnosis? This is a very important step for his recovery.

yes, it is hard, however I would respect his wishes and move on with your life. We all have our paths to walk, people come in and out of our lives for reasons. Do not lets this short relationship hold you back for experiencing and growing.

I wish you peace and strength
Trina
Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41721
   Posted 3/16/2015 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   
This probably isn't the right time for a relationship for him as he needs to heal. It can take time. Often we can heal and still continue a relationship. But in the beginning, we need to focus on only us to get better.

I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be. By looking for answers. We can give you direction but not answers.

I would continue to do what you are doing with out pressuring him. Take it one day at a time. The fact that he wants to remain friends is enough for you to know he will always care about you. Right now he just needs to work on himself... Let him do that... He is keeping communications open so that is another good thing.

His therapy will be slow. It takes time to get to know your therapist and feel comfortable with them. But it is one of the best ways to get better.

Focus on the now, don't worry about past or future. Take things one day at a time.

If you are comfortable with waiting, and it sounds like you are, then do that. But one day at a time. You do never know what is going to happen in this life. Nothing is written in stone. Take care of you while he is taking care of him... Do not stop your life for this, you have to keep going on. You two sound like you are going to be okay...

Hang in there...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

alia09
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/16/2015 8:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for your responses.

@BnotAfraid - he had seen a doctor many years ago. Maybe 10 years ago. And he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The therapist he is seeing now is new and I am unsure if they have developed a new diagnosis or if they are working off the old one. He is willing to seek help and has been sticking to it which is great and he is clearly a fighter so I know regardless of what happens between us, he is going to get through this and be a stronger and more self aware person because of it (as will I!).

I will respect his space and his wishes as I have been doing. He says he is open to this set up of still maintaining some form of communication and even maybe seeing each other but he did says he struggles with being around others. He says I have done a great job of not putting any pressure on him and I will continue to do this until it doesn't feel right anymore and one or both of us decide something needs to change.

@getting by - thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I do tend to overcomplicate most things in my life haha but over the 2 weeks that we did not speak when we were on a break I realized that I cannot let this take away from my own life. I have been really focused on continuing to do things for myself. Both of my parents have a history of mental illness (my mom has severe anxiety/OCD and my dad suffers from depression). I know the path is long to healing. There were many times that they called on me to support them and it took a toll on me. Finding the balance between supporting myself and others has been hard and I still falter at times but I am trying to be aware of my needs and my journey as well.

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7101
   Posted 3/16/2015 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Alia,

I get the impression you have an overwhelming amount of kindness and strength for other people. However, like myself you find it hard to give yourself the same kindness.

I have posted a link below for you to check out. I found it very helpful, the more compassion we have for ourselves, the easier it is to understand the suffering others.

It is great that your are sticking by him, few people have such friends, however, you are just as important and so is your happiness.

self-compassion.org/

Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

alia09
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/16/2015 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for that link. I started looking at some of their resources and I think I can benefit greatly from focusing more on myself.

I guess the hardest part is watching someone you love struggle knowing there isn't really much I can do. But I think being healthy and happy myself gives me the best chance at being a good support for him.

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7101
   Posted 3/18/2015 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I agree. Best of luck.
Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

alia09
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/18/2015 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for your support!! =)

Just a quick question. We have decided to be friends for now so that he can focus on himself and there isn't relationship pressure. I feel at a really good place in terms of myself and my life. This arrangement feels okay for now. But I am unsure how to proceed.

Do I leave it on him to initiate contact and plans to see each other? He said he's open to communicating and would like to hang out together without the seriousness and that it could be tricky because it's hard for him to be around others without wanting to withdraw.

I don't want to keep reaching out if it could be bothersome for him or if it will feel like pressure. That is counter intuitive. But I also want him to know I am here for him and would love to see him. I am not sure he will try to make plans on his own. I initiated contact on Monday, and he initiated yesterday (Tuesday) and said he would text me later and never did. Both times just some light chit chat which is fine. Just trying to figure out what someone experiencing depression might prefer in this situation.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41721
   Posted 3/18/2015 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Let him initiate contact. It will be good for him to reach out. If he doesn't contact for a few days, then MAYBE contact him. Always let him know that you are there, maybe tell him you are giving him a little space and if he wants to contact you would be more than happy. Sounds like you two are doing okay...

Try to take things as they come. Go with the flow so to speak. It doesn't have to be planned. Try not to worry... Have faith that things will work out the way that they should...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7101
   Posted 3/18/2015 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Karen, if weeks go by and you have not heard from him, call just to say him, see how he is doing.

Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

Alex101202
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/30/2017 2:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alia.
I have just been reading this thread and I relate to it so much and this situation has just happened to me. Of course there are slight differences but I feel like I could learn from you. I wanted to find out how it is all going and if you had any further advice you could offer me?
Thanks
Alex

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41721
   Posted 4/30/2017 3:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alex, welcome to the forum. This thread is a couple of years old so I am not sure if you will get a response or not.

Keep posting on other posts though. Or you could start a new one.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Alex101202
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/30/2017 3:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Karen.
You don't have a contact for the original person do you?

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41721
   Posted 4/30/2017 6:28 AM (GMT -6)   
No I don't though sometimes they will subscribe to a thread and get an email when somebody posts on it and then they will post again. I am sorry if they don't answer.

I hope you have a good day. Feel free to start your own thread if you would like.

Hugs, Karen...

If you click on their name at the side of their post, it will take you to their profile and if they put an email address you can get it.
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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